Building Community Through the Arts

Announcing our 2022 Young Writers’ Contest Winners!

Spencertown Academy has proudly offered this competition since 2015. Our goal is to encourage creative writing among students in grades 9-12 (including homeschool) in Columbia County, NY and Berkshire County, MA. This year’s contest attracted 22 creative individuals, writing in either Fiction or Non-Fiction (personal essay) categories.

Works were judged in an anonymous process by published authors and publishing professionals, who volunteered their services for this contest.

This year’s judges include:

  • David Cudaback – David is a retired magazine writer and editor.
  • Kathy Zdeb – Kathy wrote about music and people for newspapers and magazines, before turning to science writing.
  • Jamie Cat Callan – Jamie is the author of Parisian Charm School and the creator of The Writer’s Toolbox.
  • Emily A. McCully – Emily is the author of an O Henry Prize story, two adult novels and many children’s books.

We really cannot thank them enough for the time and thought they put into their co-operative decisions. Each category has three prizes – $250, $150 and $100. We look forward to the winners possibly reading their stories at our Festival of Books in September.

This Year’s Winners

Fiction/Short Story

Final works in the Fiction category were selected by Jamie Cat Callan and Emily A. McCully.

Taibat Ahmed

First Place
Taibat Ahmed
11th Grade, Taconic High School
They’re Only Made of Moonlight

Second Place: Jin Fernbacher, 11th Grade, Berkshire Waldorf School, Last Warning
Third Place: Amanda Gutierrez, 11th Grade, Germantown Central School, Amelie Gonzalez

Nonfiction/Essay or Memoir

Final works in the Nonfiction category were chosen by David Cudaback and Kathy Zdeb.

First Place
Rafia Tasmin
12th Grade, Hudson High School
My Ammu

Second Place: Arianna Camacho, 12th Grade, Hudson High School, The White-Hispanic Experience
Third Place: Shea Neumann, 10th Grade, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, A Traveler’s Heart

Enjoy reading these impressive works by six talented teenagers.

Read 2021’s Wonderful Winning Entries

Fiction/Short Story

First Place: Sasha Truax 12th Grade New Lebanon High School Chocolate Chip Cookies
Second Place: Samantha Saavedra, 10th Grade, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, Liam Henderson
Third Place: Mattie Vandiver, 12th Grade, Berkshire Waldorf High School, The Science of Friendship
Honorable Mention: Jin Fernbacher, 10th Grade, Berkshire Waldorf High School, A Single Orange

Nonfiction/Essay or Memoir

First Place: Dezjuan K. Smith, 11th Grade, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, Everything Under the Sun, Maybe
Second Place: Amanda Roberts, 11th Grade, Chatham HS, Below the Surface 
Third Place: Phoebe Hebert, 12th Grade, Chatham HS, The City

NYSCA logo
Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 
Hawthorne Valley Association logo
This program is generously supported by Hawthorne Valley.

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